§ MR. SAMUEL SMITH (Flintshire)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been drawn to a statement that the railway companies in the Black Country lend facilities to the sport of pigeon flying on Sundays; that boxes, containing pigeons, are sent by the trains which the stationmaster has to open on arrival, liberate the pigeon, enter the time on the label, and return the box by next train; whether such a course is legal; and, whether he can devise any means for suppressing this unnecessary Sunday labour?
§ MR. S. BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)
Before the right hon. Gentleman answers the question, I should like to ask him whether any harm or cruelty results from this sport, and if it would not be a great mistake to interfere with it?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. MATTHEWS,) Birmingham, E.
My attention has not been drawn to this matter, and the Board of Trade also inform me that they have no cognizance of it. I am not aware of any Statute which would 705 make such a practice illegal. I presume that this Sunday labour is voluntarily undertaken by the stationmasters. I do not think that it is so oppressive in its nature that the Government would be justified in legislating for its suppression.